So a few longer rides later since my last post. My wife and I did another 130km ride. Same route just a different day. She only joined because the weather app said something of moderately clear conditions with a gentle 5km/h wind from the north west. Gentle being the operative word here. I must admit though, she also loves the wide open space and the thought ofcycling country roads. We set out a tad earlier this time and I must admit, I was taken by her gusto and power. I of course was loaded like a donkey and battling to keep up. I did mention to her at one point to back off on the power a tad, she didn't really realise that we had a good tail wind that was pushing us to the 75km Robertson in the distance and that we would need to fight on the return journey.
We were lucky enough to see about three groups of like minded on their last leg of the Race Across South Africa or known as the RASA. They we headed towards the infamous Stettynskloof before the finish in Wellington. You can read more about the Freedom Challenge here.
Anyway back to our jolly in the country side. My wife was as always, taken aback with the beauty of the Breede Valley. The last time we cycled through we were in mist and really cold conditions, she couldn't see much then. But today the sky was out with a few clouds. We stopped to photograph a lot and spotted the elusive eland and springbok on one of the farms. Getting to Robertson we had lunch at the friendly Wimpy, not our usual choice of food but when your starving and in need of carbs, anything would do. I must mention that the staff are really welcoming and allow cyclists to bring their bikes indoors. After a welcome nosh we then headed north via the back roads and Graham Beck wines. At around the 100km mark and just past Shaggy Stone brewery, Viola’s wheels came off and she lost her usual sense of humour. It was a hard slog into that wind which wasn't getting any less. Never the less she battened down the hatch, grit her teeth and pushed on. In total we had spent less time in the saddle compared to the first ride, but still it was a 7 hour ride.
In my last post I mentioned having a Shimano dynamo hub being spoked? Well the lads from Melkbos Cycles really shined. My hub was ready for the maiden voyage. I joined a group of avid mountain bikrs for a 130km ride. Now the story with joining unknown groups is familiar and we all know of the possible problems. But then again you don’t know unless you join. The ride would follow some country roads, private farm land and some single track belonging to the Tygerberg MTB club. Speed was advertised at around 16 – 20km/h. Cool, I”m in . S0 getting to the arranged meet point just on sunrise it was 1. freezing cold, my garmin was shaking in the bracket, something like 4.5 degrees on the dial and 2. some really tough young lads and ladies had also arrived. Anyway we set of with a group of about 20 riders. A mix match of Melkbos and Out Riders club members. The first section of route had us traversing two private farms with its fare share of sand. Great noises coming from the newly cleaned chain and dollar bills flashing through my head thinking of the Sram Eagle XX1 having to get replaced when we get back. Nelia who had organised this ride said in no uncertain terms “Stay together when crossing the second farm” it belongs to my uncle and he’s pissed off with rouge cyclists on his property. I had visions of having extra drag in my butt from the lead pellets.
The route then eased off and we got into the country and passed granola fields with stunning views of the Durbanville Valley. Can’t say much about the pace though.. it was more like 25 – 30km/h but hey, who would dare say anything, not I said the cat. The main oaks who had organised the ride suggested to a few folk that they turn around and short cut back to the start, they just wouldn't have made the distance. Our circular route took us via Philadelphia. A tiny village outside of Cape Town just off the N7. Population about 600 and developed from a parish of the Dutch Reformed Church established in 1863. The name is of biblical origin and means 'brotherly love'. We stopped for a bite and something to drink at The Deli Shed, highly recommendable. We then set off and did the last stretch of private farm and back to the start. Some of the racing snakes decided to call it quits, their excuse was something about their wives coming to collect them and join for lunch, yea right.
Getting back I could feel my legs. I’m not sure if this was from pushing so hard or from the extra resistance the Shimano hub creates? Apparently the resistance is not that much. I’m using a Shimano XT Deore SM-DH10 (if this means anything) I tested the system connected to the eWerk power convertor/regulator. I was able to charge an empty RED-E 5000mA power bank within about 60km of cycling on this ride. On another occation my Garmin 1030 had around 60% battery power left. I connected the gizmo to the other gizmo and went for a ride. Our average speed was 20km/h and within 25km the garmin was fully charged. I’m totally convinced that the system works which means I can now switch my front wheel back to the welcome Syncos carbon rim and walk normal after a good day in the saddle.
Should you be interested in reading some tech data on drag/resistance you can follow this link.
If you have entered The Munga and needing a lift to Bloemfontein from Cape Town, check this out.